IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eme/aaajpp/v24y2011i8p1000-1021.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Climate change: Explaining and solving the mismatch between scientific urgency and political inertia

Author

Listed:
  • Jonathan Boston
  • Frieder Lempp

Abstract

Purpose - This paper has two main purposes. First, it considers the detrimental effects of four politically-salient asymmetries on the policy choices of liberal democracies when dealing with the problem of human-induced climate change. Second, it outlines and evaluates possible solutions for reducing or countering these asymmetries. Design/methodology/approach - The approach involves an analysis and evaluation of policy options based on a survey of the relevant literature. Findings - The paper highlights the serious mismatch between the magnitude and urgency of the climate change problem and the current political will to overcome or mitigate the problem. Although four categories of potential solutions, and the various mechanisms through which they might operate, are discussed, it is recognized that all the available options have significant drawbacks, not least limited political feasibility and doubtful effectiveness. In short, action within liberal democracies to mitigate climate change is likely to remain seriously constrained by the four asymmetries discussed, thus increasing the risk of dangerous climate change. Originality/value - The paper highlights the complexities, both international and national, of confronting human-induced climate change. In particular, it identifies four systemic reasons, in the form of politically-salient asymmetries, why liberal democracies have struggled to take effective measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provides a systematic assessment of possible solutions to these asymmetries. These include changes to accounting frameworks to ensure that the impact of humanity on the environment and future generations is more transparent.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Boston & Frieder Lempp, 2011. "Climate change: Explaining and solving the mismatch between scientific urgency and political inertia," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(8), pages 1000-1021, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:aaajpp:v:24:y:2011:i:8:p:1000-1021
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/09513571111184733?utm_campaign=RePEc&WT.mc_id=RePEc
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brand, Christian & Boardman, Brenda, 2008. "Taming of the few--The unequal distribution of greenhouse gas emissions from personal travel in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 224-238, January.
    2. Paul Demeny, 1986. "Population and the invisible hand," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 23(4), pages 473-487, November.
    3. Howarth, Richard B., 2007. "Towards an operational sustainability criterion," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 656-663, September.
    4. Polk, Andreas & Schmutzler, Armin, 2005. "Lobbying against environmental regulation vs. lobbying for loopholes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 915-931, December.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:04:p:809-827_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Boyd, James & Banzhaf, H. Spencer, 2006. "What Are Ecosystem Services?," Discussion Papers dp-06-02, Resources For the Future.
    7. Farzin, Y. Hossein & Bond, Craig A., 2006. "Democracy and environmental quality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 213-235, October.
    8. Sutton, Paul C. & Costanza, Robert, 2002. "Global estimates of market and non-market values derived from nighttime satellite imagery, land cover, and ecosystem service valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 509-527, June.
    9. Bernauer, Thomas & Koubi, Vally, 2009. "Effects of political institutions on air quality," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1355-1365, March.
    10. Boyd, James, 2007. "Nonmarket benefits of nature: What should be counted in green GDP?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 716-723, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Tatiana Kiseleva, 2016. "Heterogeneous Beliefs and Climate Catastrophes," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 65(3), pages 599-622, November.
    2. Markus J. Milne & Suzana Grubnic, 2011. "Climate change accounting research: keeping it interesting and different," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(8), pages 948-977, October.
    3. Thomson, Ian & Grubnic, Suzana & Georgakopoulos, Georgios, 2014. "Exploring accounting-sustainability hybridisation in the UK public sector," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 453-476.
    4. repec:eee:crpeac:v:32:y:2015:i:c:p:1-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Mohamed M. Mostafa, 2016. "Post-materialism, Religiosity, Political Orientation, Locus of Control and Concern for Global Warming: A Multilevel Analysis Across 40 Nations," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 1273-1298, September.
    6. repec:eee:crpeac:v:24:y:2013:i:6:p:410-437 is not listed on IDEAS

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:aaajpp:v:24:y:2011:i:8:p:1000-1021. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman). General contact details of provider: http://www.emeraldinsight.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.